The combination of work and study has been hailed as crucial to ensure that youth develop the skills required on the labour market so that transitions from school to work are shorter and smoother. As a result, many governments encourage learning on the job, particularly when it comes as part of certified programmes such as vocational education and training pathways (VET) or apprenticeships.
This report provides a detailed diagnosis of the youth labour market and education system in Latvia from an international comparative perspective, and offers tailored recommendations to help improve school-to-work transitions. It also provides an opportunity for other countries to learn from the innovative measures that Latvia has taken to strengthen the skills of youth and their employment outcomes, notably through the implementation of a Youth Guarantee.
Latvia should step up its efforts to improve the employment prospects of young people by continuing to reform its vocational education system and pursuing the commitments made as part of the Youth Guarantee to further reduce the share of young people under 30 who are not in employment, education or training.
Countries where skills are less equally distributed tend to have higher wage inequality. Putting skills to better use can help reduce wage inequality, by strengthening the links between workers’ skills, productivity and wages.
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Labour market conditions are improving in many OECD countries but the recovery from the recent economic crisis remains very uneven. Employment is still growing too slowly in the OECD area to close the jobs gap induced by the crisis, even by the end of 2016. Consequently, unemployment for the OECD as a whole is projected to continue its slow decline, reaching 6.6% by the end of 2016.
Human capital is key for economic growth. Not only is it linked to aggregate economic performance but also to each individual’s labour market outcomes. However, a skilled population is not enough to achieve high and inclusive growth, as skills need to be put into productive use at work.
At OECD, the relationship between skills and the labour market is the object of in-depth research and policy analysis. This includes the measurement of skill requirements in the Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC), thematic analysis on the links between skills and key labour market outcomes, as well as the assessment and policy response to changing skill needs.
As the first edition of “Youth Skills day” unfolds, about 40 million youth aged 15-29 in OECD countries are either looking for work or entirely disconnected from the labour market and from education and training.
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At 75%, the employment rate in New Zealand is the third highest among OECD countries and has been only marginally affected by the recent economic crisis.
Job displacement (involuntary job loss due to firm closure or downsizing) affects many workers over their lifetime. Displaced workers may face long periods of unemployment and, even when they find new jobs, tend to be paid less than in their prior jobs. Helping them get back into good jobs quickly should be a key goal of labour market policy. This report looks at how this challenge is being tackled in Canada. While the Canadian government uses several measures to prevent unnecessary layoffs, the focus is placed on assisting workers after they have lost their job via the Employment Insurance system and the core labour market programmes operated by the Provinces. Re-employment assistance tailored to meet the specific needs of displaced workers also plays a useful role, but needs to be reinforced so as to start the adjustment process earlier for workers receiving advance notice or a large severance payment and to reach workers affected by small-scale displacements. Targeted programmes for older displaced workers with long-tenure who are hardest hit have yet to reach a large share of this group.